Laurentian Bank does away with in-house specialists

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With the announcement from Laurentian Bank that they are doing away with their mobile mortgage representatives, brokers in Quebec believe the reduced competition will make it easier to do business with the bank.

“I feel ecstatic and I just wish the other banks would do the same,” John Dunford of Dominion Lending Centres Centre Ouest told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “When we approach a Realtor or a Realtor approaches us, the first thing they say to you is ‘how much will you pay us?’ rather than ‘do you think you can get a good rate for my client?’”

Dunford hopes the abolition of Laurentian’s mobile representatives will do away with that line of question – at least when it comes to dealing with the bank. In the past, according to Dunford, the bank paid out a higher commission to Realtors who dealt with a specialist.

“Unlike the rest of Canada, the mortgage specialists offer money to real estate brokers to get clientele,” he said, speaking generallyh. “It’s a minimum of 50 basis points of $500 for every $100,000, but I’ve heard it’s as high as $750 for every $100,000.”

And while he hopes it becomes a trend the other banks follow, Dunford realizes it may result in an influx of former specialists transitioning to the brokerage side of the business.

“As mortgage brokers, we’re getting people who have been in the industry as specialists (who) are now applying to become brokers,” he said. “The mortgage specialists are not quite a dying breed but there is (fewer) of them. And there will continue to be less and less.”

For his part, Claudio Nirchi of Multi-Prêts Mortgages believes the move will open up more opportunity for brokers to develop successful relationships with Laurentian Bank.

“It is our job to work with them to be profitable for them while offering a good product to client (and) we have to work with them to have a fruitful relationship,” he said. “I think that now they have decided to confirm that they want to stay with the mortgage channel, for sure.”

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